Posted 11/06/19 (Wed)
Barbra Kennedy Johnson, age 79, passed away peacefully on Oct. 30, 2019, at Touchmark Memory Care Community in Bismarck, N.D.
Born July 20, 1940 to Viola and Angus Kennedy Jr., she was the eldest of their three born children and grew up on the family ranch east of Watford City, N.D. Barbra attended Watford City High School, competed in rodeo barrel racing as a young woman, and served as Miss Rodeo North Dakota in 1959. She attended college at Colorado State University, and nursing school in Sidney, Mont., where she received her certificate as an LPN. She later earned her nursing degree from the University of Mary. Barbra or “Barbie” worked as an RN for several years at a hospital in Bismarck before becoming a Public Health Nurse first at Standing Rock, N.D., and later returned to Ft. Berthold, N.D., where she served the community for many years.
Barb was very active in the ranching community and with her family of Kennedys and Paulsens. She had a very active relationship with her nieces in their younger growing up years and continued to love and support them all as they moved away from North Dakota and started their own families. Barb was instrumental in organizing the North Dakota Cowboy Hall of Fame located at Medora, N.D. Her grandfather, Angus Kennedy Sr., was one the very first inductees in to the Hall of Fame and later the entire Kennedy Ranch was inducted into the ranch section of the Hall of Fame.
June 2, 1989, Barbra was united in marriage to Melvin ‘Jarrette’ Johnson. They made their home outside of Mandaree, N.D., in the Bear Den area and together lived out their individual, now joint, dreams of raising well-bred quarter horses and paint horses carrying on Barbra’s family’s quarter horse bloodlines and introducing the paint horse bloodlines important to Jarrette. Many of those quarter horse lines from Barbra’s history and of her cousin Larry Grantier continue into the program of Woroniecki Ranch Quarter Horses with Jodie and Warren Woroniecki and their family. Barbra became a beloved Auntie and Grandma Barb within their blended family. Their union not only blessed each others’ lives, but those of their grandchildren and many others. They were the people who often gave many others their first horse. Barbie embraced the Native American culture and way of life.
Barbara was truly a ‘Giver.’ Caring and compassionate, if she had something and she saw a need in someone else, she never hesitated to share whatever bounty she had, great or small. She was a lover of animals and of people and she doted upon her loved ones, especially her nieces, nephews, and grandchildren.
Barbara was preceded in death by her husband, Jarrette; father, Angus Jr.; mother, Viola; infant baby brother, Angus III; niece, Maura Newburn; son, Frank Schumacher; her grandparents; as well as numerous other aunts, uncles and cousins.
She is survived by Gena Baker, Nona Carlson, Keira Adams, Jodie Woroniecki and their families; Shane and Jaimie Johnson; and Jennifer and Luke Yeahquo; grandchildren, Cody Spotted Bear, Casey Rae Johnson, Cash Johnson, Cylee Dobbs, Jace Johnson, KaCee Lee McPhearson, Brittany Johnson, Troy Johnson, Sierra Ventresca, Jessy Yeahquo, LJ Yeahquo, Jeremiah Yeahquo and their families.
Services were held at First Lutheran Church, Watford City on Saturday, Nov. 2, 2019. Graveside service followed at the Johnson Family Cemetery east of Watford City
Memorial gifts may be made to the North Dakota Cowboy Hall of Fame at 250 Main Street, Medora, ND 58645